“Gold-bottom” Vegan Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes
Ever since I cracked the recipe for vegan salted caramel sauce I’ve been looking for opportunities to use it! More often than not this involves baking a cake and then literally POURING it on top.
This time, however, I decided to put the caramel on top AND inside! I call these guys “Golden-bottom” cupcakes, sort of in response to black bottom cupcakes. The caramel sauce sinks to the bottom of the cakes as they bake leaving you with a beautifully gooey golden surprise when you bite in. My recommendation is to eat these guys on a plate with a fork - it’s messy business!
Makes 6 cupcakes
For the Salted Caramel
45g raw unsalted cashews
80g boiling water
200g caster sugar
100g coconut cream (the solid white stuff at the top of a can of refrigerated coconut milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
pinch flaky sea salt
For the Sponge Cakes
1 1/2 tsp psyllium husk powder + 6 tsp water
85g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
35g cocoa powder
4 tbsp boiling water
50g vegan margarine
135g granulated sugar
75ml oat milk
For the Frosting
100g vegan margarine at room temperature
100g “baking block” at room temperature (it’s a solid vegan butter sometimes called “baking fat”, sold at most supermarkets)
400g icing sugar (sifted)
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
To Make the Salted Caramel
In the cup of a high speed blender, place the cashews and the boiling water. Leave to soak for 30 minutes.
Once soaked, blend the cashews and soaking water until very, very smooth.
In a small bowl, measure out your coconut cream and 60g of your cashew cream, mix together until combined.
In a medium, high-sided saucepan over medium/low heat, place the caster sugar. Stirring constantly, heat until the sugar is completely melted and is turning a nice golden brown (don’t worry if it smokes slightly). Remove from the heat and add the coconut cream and cashew cream mixture. The caramel will splutter and spit so be careful. Stir gently until combined then add the salt and vanilla. Stir well.
Return to a low heat and simmer gently for a minute or two. Remove from the heat and set aside. Allow to cool to room temperature. Once cool, place in the fridge to chill for an hour.
To Make the Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 180c and line a cupcake tray with 6 cupcake cases.
In a small bowl combine the psyllium husks and the water. Mix and set aside to thicken.
In another small bowl, measure out the flour and the baking powder. Stir to combine and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cocoa and the boiling water. Fit the paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add the vegan margarine and psyllium egg and beat until smooth (the psyllium tends to clump very easily, so make sure you beat very well).
Add the remaining cake ingredients and beat until just combined.
Divide the batter between the six cupcake cases and top each cup of batter with one tsp of the chilled caramel.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly in the tin before removing each cake delicately and allowing to cool fully on a wire cooking rack.
While cooling, prepare the frosting.
To Make the Frosting
Place your remaining caramel on the counter and allow it to come to room temperature. It should be rather runny. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place the vegan margarine and the baking block. Beat on high speed for around 3-4 minutes until well combined and light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat briefly to combine.
Measure out your icing sugar into a separate bowl and sift before using. With the stand mixer on low, add the icing sugar a dessert spoon at a time, beating well after each addition. If the mixture looks too dry, add a tbsp of plant milk to loosen it up and beat until smooth.
Transfer your frosting to a piping bag and top each cooled cupcake as desired. Top the icing with a tsp of the room temperature caramel - it should slowly run over the icing and enrobe the top of the cupcake.
Serve (probably with a spoon - they’re pretty gooey!) and enjoy!